Facebook platform industry news: Mass Relevance, Unified

Mass Relevance

Social curation and engagement platform Mass Relevance and marketing communications organization VivaKi announced a strategic partnership on Monday. The partnership will give all agencies with Publicis Groupe, which founded VivaKi in 2008, access to the Mass Relevance platform. The Mass Relevance platform can aggregate, filter and display posts from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube in real time. Publicis Groupe is currently one of the third largest buyers in the world for social advertising. The organization’s adoption of the Mass Relevance platform will give it a significant boost. The Mass Relevance platform has already powered social experiences for the the 2012 elections with CNN and Facebook; the Olympic Games with NBC and Twitter; as well as campaigns for brands like Pepsi and Doritos.

Unified

Enterprise marketing technology company Unified has announced the quarterly release of its cloud-based Social Operating Platform. In its spring 2013 release, the company has added more data-driven applications for more thorough insights. These applications include an insights application for tracking audience and engagement analytics as well as a content application for real-time feed optimization and monitoring. The company has also added an advertising application for cross-channel planning and buying. With these new applications, Unified adds to its existing capabilities such as automated ad creation, targeting, optimization, and programmatic bid management for native, mobile and premium Facebook ads.

Hearsay Social puts focus on ‘social selling’ with new software for sales reps

Hearsay-Social-LogoHearsay Social, maker of social media management software, is announcing a new Social Sales Solution to give individual salespeople better tools for monitoring their social networks and publishing relevant content.

The platform will identify top stories from a user’s network across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and send alerts about key people to reach out to in order to build and maintain relationships with prospects and customers.

Hearsay Social co-founder and CTO Steve Garrity says many salespeople, such as real estate agents, insurance brokers and consultants, use their personal social media profiles for business, building networks of friends and professional contacts. Through machine learning and natural language processing, Hearsay Social can pick out important posts and updates from those networks, such as someone getting married, moving or starting a new job. The salesperson could then comment on the item or send the person a direct message, though Garrity says many salespeople use these alerts as a prompt to pick up the phone and call the customer or lead directly.

Hearsay-Social-Activity-Feed

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Publishers can now see Graph Search keywords that led to their sites

graph-searchFacebook has begun passing keyword data to websites that receive referral traffic from search queries that originate on the social network, allowing sites to more accurately track where visitors are coming from.

With the launch of Graph Search, Facebook more deeply incorporated Bing so that queries that can’t be answered by Facebook’s internal search, will direct users to a page of results powered by Bing. This could lead more users to conduct searches through Facebook that end up on third-party sites. However, previously, there was no way for someone to tell whether a visitor from Facebook came via search or a shared link somewhere on the site.

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Behind the Salesforce-powered CES Social Media Command Center

Even at the overwhelming Consumer Electronics Show, it’s hard to miss the large Salesforce monitors in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall. Every second the screen is spitting CES stats, ranging from the reactions to certain announcements to the ranking of the most discussed gadget categories. The graphs, charts and numbers are pulled from about 500 million different sources.

It is called the Social Media Command Center, a nerdy collaboration between CES-owners Consumer Electronics Association and cloud computing giant Salesforce. Inside Social Commerce talked to Michael Peachey, Salesforce Senior Director of Solutions Marketing, about how the partnership came about and what trends they were already seeing early in the conference week.

Read the Q&A and learn how Salesforce is monitoring social media conversations and engaging consumers live from CES on our sister site, Inside Social Commerce

Votigo moves beyond promotions to provide conversation management and other social marketing software

Social marketing and promotions software company Votigo recently expanded its platform to provide a full cross-network publisher, conversation manager and analytics tools.

Votigo co-founder and CEO Mike La Rotonda tells us it has long been part of the company’s vision to offer these additional services, but it had been previously focused on building out its promotional app suite. Votigo, began as a video-focused UGC community site in 2006, but after the launch of the Facebook platform, found success providing technology to help companies run online promotions. Now the company wants to be known for more than just promotional apps and better serve customers who are increasingly looking for unified solutions for their social marketing software.

Votigo’s new expanded marketing and CRM suite includes a conversation manager for scheduling posts, simultaneously posting to multiple networks, and responding to fans and followers. It also offers tab application templates and some basic analytics. Although there are already dozens of these types of platforms on the market, some are becoming more tailored to large brands and agencies at the same time that many smaller businesses are recognizing the need for social marketing software. With companies like Buddy Media, Vitrue and Involver getting acquired by corporations like Salesforce and Oracle, there is an opportunity to reach the long tail of marketers and businesses trying to manage their social media presence.

Votigo has signed on clients including Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Sony Online Entertainment and Kaiser-Permanente, but La Rotonda says the platform’s tiered pricing makes it an option for small businesses as well. Votigo offers plans at $15 a month, with the full suite available for $250 a month. Brands and agencies that need more customized apps and white labeled services can negotiate a premium plan.

La Rotonda adds that the industry has only scratched the surface on what Facebook marketing will become, so he believes there will continue to be opportunities for companies like Votigo to offer this type of software to a broad range of businesses.

The Facebook Marketing Bible: Updates for June 2012

Events have been a premier feature for Facebook even in its earliest iterations. A great tool for community organizing and brand promotion, Facebook Events can be utilized for both individual Facebook users and companies of all sizes. Optimize your Facebook Events with the June 2012 edition of the Facebook Marketing Bible: The Leading Resource for Marketing and Advertising on Facebook.

In the June 2012 edition, we cover topics for marketers and advertisers, including Pages vs Timeline + Subscribe, optimizing Facebook Events for individuals and pages, and Facebook’s new promote button.

About the Facebook Marketing Bible

The Facebook Marketing Bible has enabled thousands of brands, app developers, content publishers and businesses of all sizes to do more with Facebook, from the basics of creating a successful fan page, to the complexities of social plugin integration on an off-Facebook website.

The Facebook Marketing Bible includes hundreds of pages of strategies, comprehensive how-to guides and case studies analyzing today’s most successful marketing and advertising campaigns on Facebook. Take a tour of the Facebook Marketing Bible.

Recent Additions to the Facebook Marketing Bible

Ready to take your marketing and advertising campaigns to the next level? Subscribe to the Facebook Marketing Bible today.

Facebook management applications Shoutlet, Vitrue release updates

As more brands turn to third-party social media management tools, companies like Shoutlet and Vitrue continue to add new features and integrate more services into their applications. Both companies released significant product updates in the past week making them worth another look for marketers who might be interested in tools for publishing, monitoring, analytics and app development.

Shoutlet
Social marketing software provider Shoutlet announced several additions to its platform today to help marketers schedule posts, launch applications and maintain customer profiles.

Many social media management tools allow companies to schedule posts for a day and time in the future, but Shoutlet’s new “Social Switchboard” feature lets marketers schedule posts to go live after a designated trigger. For example, the app could push out a new post to fans once a contest receives 500 entries or the page reaches a million Likes. Triggers can also be set to launch new Facebook tabs or deliver coupons.

With its new “Social Canvas” feature, Shoutlet lets users design page tab applications with drag-and-drop templates instead of coding. This latest version of the software also includes additional CRM functionality. “Social Profiles” gathers information on user preferences, interests and frequency of engagement based on interactions consumers had with Shoutlet applications and publicly listed information online.

Vitrue
Vitrue expanded its analytics integration and introduced new metrics to help marketers understand their audience and performance last week.

Vitrue now integrates with Adobe Omniture, Webtrends, Google Analytics and Coremetrics to show marketers how their social media efforts work across the web and where new fans are coming from. Vitrue has added a “Top Engaged Users” feature for companies to see the top 10 most active users on their Facebook pages. This is helpful for page managers to understand the audience their content is most resonating with and to let the company know who its hand-raisers are. The product also now incorporates Facebook’s new Insights, such as negative fan feedback and more metrics for individual posts.

Study Finds Marketers Misunderstand Their Facebook Fans

When people like pages on Facebook, they expect exclusive offers and timely customer support, but they consider themselves loyal customers and are not as interested in a brand’s content as marketers think they are, according to research from The CMO Council.

More than 1,300 consumers and 132 senior marketers were surveyed to understand how well marketers are embracing social media and why consumers are connecting with brands there. As previous research has suggested, people often come to Facebook pages looking for deals and other exclusive offers. What is interesting about this survey’s findings is the discrepancy between why consumers say they like companies on Facebook and why marketers think they do.

Response from marketers:

Response from consumers:

According to the report, 57% of marketers surveyed believe when a customer likes their page, it means their content is agreeable. Only 30% of consumers indicated they like brands on Facebook because of the content they share. Marketers seem less assured of fans’ loyalty, with only 24% of survey participants believing people like their pages because they are loyal customers. But 49% of consumers surveyed said they liked brands for that same reason.

The study also revealed some expectations people have about interacting with companies through social media. Fans expect to be eligible for exclusive offers, likely because they consider themselves loyal customers. They also expect “great customer support” and answers within 24 hours.

The full findings from the CMO Council can be found here. The survey was conducted in partnership with Lithium, which provides social media monitoring and Facebook app development software.

Featured Facebook Campaigns: Ultimat Vodka, Nasty Gals, Toyota Prius, Burger King and Subway

Ultimat Vodka’s Social Life Audit topped our review of Facebook campaigns this week, although Burger King and Subway also had some interesting ways of promoting their products. Nasty Gals saw a particularly successful and simple sweepstakes campaign and Toyota Prius’ charity app was interesting for being so tightly branded.

Below is an excerpt of this week’s full Featured Facebook Campaigns entry in the Facebook Marketing Bible, which also includes detailed breakdowns of over 100 other Facebook marketing campaigns by top-performing brands and other organization on Facebook.

Ultimat Vodka’s Social Life Audit

Goal: Brand Loyalty, Product Purchase, Engagement, Network Exposure

Method: Ultimat Vodka created an app, Social Life Audit, that culls a users’ data and creates a customized social “score” and infographic.

Core Mechanic: We spoke to Paul Aaron with Amalgamated, who worked on the Social Life Audit campaign for Ultimat Vodka and he told us that the app itself was tightly integrated into the company’s brand.

“Our overall goal was to create more widespread buzz and word-of-mouth that got people thinking about Ultimate Vodka,” he told us. “Facebook is where people go to be social and spirit brands are inherently social brands. Social Life Audit was part of a broader campaign targeting overworked, high-end consumers who are craving balance in their lives.”

The vodka product is a mix of wheat, rye and potato vodkas, therein is marketed as being well-balanced. Aaron told us that the broader Ultimat campaign was precise and targeted via print and digital, but that the Facebook app generated the most buzz for the brand. Users not only get their own personalized infographic when using the app (which also generates ticker stories), but they can share this to the stream when they are finished.

It is this part of the app — the sharing — that Aaron said was the most potent of the campaign. “When people use the app and get their score, they are encouraged to post them, which in turn, gets tagged and added to their photo albums. About halfway through making Social Life Audit, we knew we had something special on our hands, but we didn’t know that it would garner as much traffic s it did.”

Overall Aaron told us the app, with impressions on- and off-line, delivered CPM that was a fraction of print or banner ads. This was of particular value, since the brand didn’t have a big advertising budget.

Impact: The Page was created at the end of November and currently stands at 10,100 Likes.

Nasty Gals’ Epic Holiday Giveaway

Goal: Page Growth, Email List, Brand Loyalty, Product Purchase, Network Exposure

Method: Nasty Gal is a clothing company hosting an email entry sweepstakes giving away a gift card every day until Christmas for two weeks.

Core Mechanic: The sweepstakes asks users to enter an email to win one of the gift cards, ranging from $200 to $1,000. The sweepstakes is Like-gated and allows users to share their entry to the stream.

Impact: The sweepstakes is simple and appears to have brought in about 10,000 Likes since it began in early December, according to PageData. The Page currently stands at 146,800 Likes.

Want to learn how top brands are designing their Facebook marketing campaigns? See the Facebook Marketing Bible for detailed breakdowns of hundreds of Featured Campaigns by top-performing brands and businesses on Facebook.

Zendesk Brings Facebook into its Help Desk Application

Help desk software provider Zendesk has added Facebook integration to its cloud-based platform. Posts and comments to a company Facebook page now enter the system as tickets that can be routed to the appropriate customer service agent.

Most companies are still trying to determine who should be involved in managing their Facebook pages. With uses for marketing, PR and customer service among others, it can be difficult to decide who should be in charge and how different departments and agencies should work together. Several SaaS companies are looking to address these issues with social media management platforms.

Zendesk aims to streamline customer support across the web with a ticket system that allows users to keep track of customer communications and automate some aspects of the process. The application already integrates with Twitter and CRM solutions like Salesforce.com, in addition to bringing email and website feedback into a single platform.

Since being founded in 2007, Zendesk has gained more than 10,000 customers, including Adobe, MSNBC, Sony, OpenTable and Groupon.

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